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honestly feel comfortable to tell their principal of things that are going on at home with domestic situations that could spill over into our schools. making sure that you're doing basic training so that teachers and staff greet and challenge, report strangers, keep people outside of schools. we have many crisis plans in most schools. the problem is they're often sitting 0en a shelf collecting dust. the staff haven't been trained and they don't drill. we heard in connecticut yesterday that the staff had been trained. we saw that staff knew what to do and literally teachers, adults who love kids stepped in front and took a bullet to protect their children. i think that the human aspect of school safety is much more stronger than any camera and metal detector will ever be. >> and thank you so much. we appreciate that. obviously, so many of those teachers did such a heroic job just getting their children in
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safe plays putting them in closets, locking them in bathrooms, barricading them until they knew that the school was safe, was in lock down, thank you so much for joining us. as the connecticut community and the nation try to come to grips with this terrible tragedy, we're going to have a lot of the latest developments in the next hour of our special coverage. live from newtown, connecticut, thank you. how they'll live tomo. for more than 116 years, ameriprise financial has worked for their clients' futures. helping millions of americans retire on their terms. when they want. where they want. doing what they want. ameriprise. the strength of a leader in retirement planning. the heart of 10,000 advisors working with you one-to-one. together for your future. ♪
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good afternoon, everyone. i'm don lemon. you're watching live special coverage from newtown, connecticut. the scene of that horrific elementary school rampage. >>.live at the cnn center in atlanta for all of you. i'll be back in a few minutes with the latest we know about the victims of this tragedy. first we go to don in newtown. don? >> deb, thank you. we'll get back to deb in a minute. i want to tell viewers where we are right now. at the newtown methodist church just in front of me. this is churchill road that you're looking at here in newtown. just beyond that satellite truck you see down there is a road
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that leads to the school and it's being blocked off by police as you can see. the people here, it is unbelievable to watch their faces and to come into town today and see -- you can see the pain. it is visible on their faces and it is palpable here. and over the next hour, as long as i'm on the air here, we're going to be as respectful as we can about telling you the story and many things we're going to learn along with you and so bear with us. we may not get it all right, but we are here to inform you but to be respectful of the victims and the people dealing with such a horrific tragedy. i'd like to welcome our viewers here in the united states and around the world. this is unspeakable what happened in this town yesterday. 20 children massacred along with six adults at the sandy hook elementary school. police say the shooter and we'll say his name once in this broadcast and we hope that is the only time and that is just for the record of journalism, 20-year-old adam lanza and that he killed himself after that
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rampage. today, the collective heart of a nation and the world really heavy over this. we grieve for the families. and we grieve at the idea that someone could be capable of such a terrible act. those who lived through the massacre find it really hard to describe. >> it was a lot of -- a lot of really scared parents looking for their kids, a lot of grateful people and you know, neighbors and friends and -- it was -- it was surreal. i don't know. i don't know how to describe it. >> let me tell you everything that we know at this hour right now. as newtown mourns, police say they have identified all 20 children and six adulted killed at the school. they told us that the shooter forced his way into the school. and we just got this picture of him from our affiliate wfsb. and we just found out from a law
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enforcement official were that the suspect had some sort of altercation with people at the school just a few days before the killings. police say the suspect first shot and killed his mother, nancy, at her home before driving to the school and then opening fire. authorities tell us that they're making good progress in determining why this horrific crime happened. >> our investigators at the crime scene, the school and secondarily at the secondary crime scene that we discussed where the female was located deceased did produce some very -- a very good evidence in this investigation that our investigators will be able to use and hopefully painting the complete picture as to how and more importantly why this occurred. >> so tell you right now, police are also saying that all three guns, not two, were recovered from the shooter's body in the school. a glock, a six sauer, and a
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bushmaster were owned by his mother. investigators say they know which one he used to kill himself but they won't reveal that information. all of this has left us with more questions really than answers and some questions we may never get answers to about the possible motive of this shooter. cnn's mary snow has a closer look at the suspect for us now. >> shortly after the horrific shootings, police and s.w.a.t. teams descended on the lanza home behind me and it's closed off by police. investigators are now suggesting that they are piecing together information leading to possible answers about how and dwlp happened. lieutenant paul vance of the connecticut state police saying that in his words, good evidence is being recovered but he did not go into detail. in terms of the weapons used, we do know that three weapons were recovered at the scene of the shooting near the suspect's
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body. there were two handguns and a semiautomatic rifle. cnn has been reporting that those gunses were purchased by his mother, nancy lanza. there's not much we do know about nancy lanza. we spoke to a neighbor earlier in the day, and she said that she knew her. but there was nothing out of the ordinary that she could see. >> she was like a normal anybody else in this neighborhood. you know, decorate the house and the house was always, you know, pristine and i mean, she was just like any other housewife. >> as for adam lanza, former classmates describe him as being a smart student, someone who was quiet. kept to himself. a neighbor who knew him in recent years described him as troubled. mary snow, cnn, newtown, connecticut. >> all right, mary, thank you very much. i want to bringing in deb feyerick. deb, of course, is in atlanta leading our coverage from there
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along with nick who has been getting information on the victims, deb. >> what's interesting is we're slowly learning some of the names of the victims, mostly the adults of this attack. there were 208 children between the ages of 5 and 10. so young. they died in the shooting spree along with those six adults, many of them educators in the school. the school's principal was one of those. also the school psychologist. those twos women ran towards the door when they heard the gunfire to see what was going on to see whether they could have prevented this tragedy that unfolded. nick valencia here in atlanta, you're learning more about who they were. nick,ing what do you have so far? >> good afternoon, deb. it's been an exhausting day, morning and afternoon as we gooe begin to piece together the details of exactly what happened yesterday morning in newtown, the site at sandy hook elementary school. what we do know is 26 people are dead. two names cnn has been able to
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independently confirm two of those, one being down hochsprung. she began as the principal around two years ago being described as a serious but affable leader, a tough leader in the right sort of sense, somebody that you would want educating your kids. she recently oversaw is the school security system project. every visitor was required to buzz in that front entrance before entering. we do know now as details unfolded about the suspected shooter that he forced his way into the elementary school as don lemon was reporting. getting back to the principal hochsprung, she was an extremely passionate person, passionate about education. she had about 1 years of administrative experience before coming to sandy hook elementary school. she believes behind a husband, two daughters and three step daughters. also among the victims is mary sherlach. she was a school psychologist,
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as you mentioned, deb, and deb, mary sherlach and how much sbrung both in an administrative meeting. we learned from one parent who told cnn they were there with the advice principal, the principal and the school psychologist when they heard a loud pop, pop, pop noise outside in the hallway, at which point the principal and the psychologist went to investigate and check out what was happening in their school. we know now that the suspecter had burst into the elementary school and those two, the principal and the psychologist wentz to check it out, but they want did not return. also, and i want to be clear about this, kate bolduan spoke to a first grader in a classroom that was the site of the shooting. one of the classrooms where the suspected shooter entered, and that first grader told our cnn's kate bolduan that he saw his teacher, 27-year-old victoria soto shot by the shooter. cnn has been unable to confirm whether or not vicki soto is among the victims.
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that's a picture of her right there, just 27 years old, deb. she had a handful of years of teaching experience. it's said that she distracted the gunman while her school children, while her students were able to run past that gunman. a lot of people are calling her a hero. >> what's so incredible, the police have not released any of the names of either the children or the adults yet. we have been ableo pick up certain names here and there because of people tweeting out their horror and their condolences. the sister of vickie soto on her account, my sister died protecting her students. god, why did you take her? another person who we believe is a victim a tweet said to all of our heroes that were part of this senseless loss of lives, prayers and love. this is sort of a snapshot of life just tragically interrupted and cut short. nick valencia in the newsroom, thanks. get back to us as soon as you have more information on this part of the story. don? >> all right, thank you guys
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very much. i told you that we were here at the newtown methodist church. this is beth square. we've been seeing people coming in here and wanting to pay respects and just to sort of prop up the people who are here and show support. kristin and matt panichella from the weston connecticut. >> it's about 20 miles away. >> you've got flowers in your hand. why? >> i think the least we could do is come pay respect to the families and to the lives that were lost here. >> as you think about it, you've got olivia is 1-year-old. can you imagine what these families are dealing with? >> no, i think that's been the most heartbreaking part of this whole thing is wanting to be there for them and trying to under the pain they must be going through. >> yeah. and that's with a child. i don't have a child. but i can't imagine sending my child off to school. >> that's the worst part. that's the worst part is just putting that backpack on your kid and putting them on the bus
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and them not coming home. >> you never think you're never going to see them again. that's the worst part about it. >> how is everyone around here dealing with it? your neighbors, are you talking about it? do they feel the same as you? >> yeah, my family's been calling, my wife's family been calling us asking us if we knew anybody. i work relatively close in danbury. i'm sure i haven't heard yet if anybody's been affected by what's happened here but i'm sure next week i'll probably hear something. >> you barely opened your mouth before you started to tear up. i can see behind the sunglasses and you see this big lug of guys who can barely get their words out. >> yeah, it's difficult. especially being so close to home. it makes it even that much more difficult. >> yeah. what do you say to the folks here, if anything? is there you can say to them? >> i don't know if there really is anything. i guess stay strong but it seems so hard to do that right now. it's still kind of fresh. >> what would you like the country to know or do to support this community?
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>> prayers, lots of prayers i think right now, especially the week before christmas and hanukkah, and everyone just thought it was going to be something different, i'm sure. >> thank you, guys. thanks for coming on and showing your support. >> absolutely. >> it means the worlded i'm sure to the folks here. that's kristin and matt and their 1-year-old olivia. they are just one among many people who have been showing up here to pay their respects, and as i said, the church here, the methodist church open 24 hours and they've asked the media not to interview people. so if they come out and they want to talk like this couple did, then we will talk to them. if you go down here to beth square, there's a sign that says our hearts are broken. is the street that leads up to the school blocked off by police. andtom every single person that i've spoken to, says, you know, it's never this busy here especially on a saturday or a sunday. it gets a little bit busy
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because it is one of the squares here in the town but not this busy. so people are coming here because they're seeing it on television and want to give this community a community group hug, so to speak. so we'll continue to talk to the people coming out here so that you can hear how they're getting support here in newtown, connecticut. as i mentioned just a little bit earlier as we sadly have to go back to this gunman, he forced his way into sandy hook elementary school. no one let him in voluntarily. he forced his way in. the school recently installed a new security system that locked doors at 9:30 a.m. and visitors were supposed to ring a bell and get clearance from the front office. we don't know whether the shooter burst into the school and started his bloody rampage before or after 9:00 a.m. lou pa lumbo, a retired nassau county police officer in new york, he now heads a security agency, lou, we started this
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yesterday on the air. had no idea when we were covering this both of us, i had one line of information that said police are rushing to the scene of a school for a possible shooting, and as you and i were talking yesterday morning, and now this. one more, another school tragedy. >> don, almost indescribable and difficult to speak to. the real problem is what this is symptom i can of. there's an immense amount of dysfunction in our country. we need to just wrap our arms around it, whether it's our inability to talk about responsible regulation how people acquire firearms, what we need to do to secure our schools, our political system, you know, we're talking about gun legislation and assault rifle bans. i don't know how we can talk about these things. you have a republican-controlled house and i'm certain a number of southern conservative democrats who are not going to vote for any gun laws with this
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president. you know, we're in a real quagmire here. you would hope at some point sensibility would override this and the two extremes on this platform come to the middle to understand we need to address this problem of the inappropriate manner in which people acquire firearms. it isn't just through purchasing them in a gun store. and these last two instances, both in oregon, and now in connecticut, we had young men in oregon break into a home and steal an assault rifle and in this instance, this young man acquired an assault rifle from his home. both of them unsecured. you have to safeguard these weapons. that's one problem we're having here. that's all -- there's no such thing as single causality. there isn't any magic wand or any gun law that's going to fix this don. this is so disconcerting. >> lou? >> yes. >> lou, can we put the guns, a picture of that gun back up. i want to tell of my experience here.
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lou, when i was in colorado, covering that theater massacre, the gun that you see at the bottom of the screen, if you can put it back up, that ar-15, you sue he that? >> that's to be more accurate, that's an m-4 carbine, it's an m-4 carbine. >> okay. i went into a gun store and purchased a gun that looks pretty much like that gun. within 20 minutes, i'm not a resident of the state of colorado. i don't know what they did with the background check. they looked at my driver's license. i handed them $800. and walked out of the store with a gun that looks like that gun and ammunition and to this day, it's sitting in the cnn security office, but still, how can someone just walk into a store and 20 minutes later walk out with an assault rifle? how does that happen in this country? >> we have a failed system, don. i've had this conversation with numerous correspondents and
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journalists, some of them with cnn. the problem simply stated is that with handguns, for example, if you have no criminal history, we're prepared to surrender one to you on a driver's license. in law enforcement, before we arm our police, we vet them a bit differently. you have to go through criminal history check. psychological profiling where we put you through a minnesota multifacic screening, rorschach, word association and interviews with psychologists and psychiatrists. then extensive firearms training and in addition classroom training explaining to you use of force. deadly physical force in particular. the fact that you're capable of walking into certain states in this country and buying weapons of this type without us knowing anything about you is reprehensible and it's one of the problems that needs to be addressed. it doesn't have to go in the format of a gun law. you know, my position on this whole topic at this point is it seems to be wrapped around a
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constitutional right to second amendment. i'd love to see the federal government come in and require proper vetting of people that would like handguns or if you really feel this need assault rifles so we know something about you, little more than the fact you've never been arrested. and then we go through the educational process of impressing upon you the importance of safeguarding these weapons. this is a big problem. but it can be addressed. the unfortunate part, don, it's a political issue and it shouldn't be. we're suffering the consequences. >> it's not and it shouldn't be. it has nothing to do with left or right. and that's what people don't get. if you even talking about this now people on social media are saying you're such a lefty liberal. i'm not. it has nothing to do with that. it is a common sense issue. listen in, that conversation with you and this is a real conversation. i warned the viewers before we're going to have a real conversation here. i smoeed my ignorance about guns
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because i don't know, one assault rifle looks the same to me. so someone like me, lou, who has never taken a gun class, never gone to a gun range except to do a story and maybe shot a gun once or twice, to be able to go in and the ammunition and i could walk out and if i was mad at someone just go fire at people, i don't understand how that happens in a country. forgive me, that's not a left or right thing. >> i've spent 39 years in the law enforcement community as an active law enforcement agent. and i've been protecting people for the past 32 years privately. a lot of this eludes me, as well. but what really eludes me is our ability to sit down and come to common ground between the two extremes that exist in the country. one is the nra that believe if you can see lightning and hear thunder, you should own a gun and then the extreme left liberals that think we're just going to wave the magic wand and erase 300 million firearms that we have knowledge of today.
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you need to sit down in the middle. >> not going to happen. >> you're right. that's unfortunately the truth here. that's why in a sense we're spinning our wheels. there is a remedy to the problem. part of it revolves around our ability to properly vet people and continuous education with people and law enforcement, we are taught and it's impressed upon us the need to safeguard your weapons. the rest of america is on a whole another page. we're on one page, they're on another. we go through one vetting process, they go through basically none. this is the disconnect. >> lou? we're going to have to leave it there. i appreciate the conversation. and i know how you're feeling because i've met your kids. and i've met your wife and i'm sure you ugh hadded them a lot yesterday as well you should and lou palumbo, thank you very much. >> thank you, don. we know a lot of you may want to help the victims and the
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families and everyone grieving in the community. go to our impact your world p e deb, i'm going to go back to you in atlanta. but this is something that's really upsetting to all of us, and i think that we really need to discuss this. deb feyerick has new information on the alleged shooter's mother. what do you have? >> we are looking into who this woman was. nancy lanza. brand new details about her. she liked to garden, play a dice game called bunk cowith her girlfriends. a neighbor says they seemed like a nice normal family. police say that nancy's son adam killeded her, shot her to death in her newtown home before he went to the elementary school. it's not clear why he was going to that school. that is one of the things detectives are trying to investigate. there had been some reports she may have been a teacher there. david joins me on the phone from
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newtown, connecticut. you've talked with several of the neighbors. how are they describing her? >> well, deb, you're starting to get sort of an emerging picture of this woman, the mother of the shooter here. and like you mentioned, this is a woman who lived in an affluent neighborhood in newtown. you travel up the road, it's one of the most picturesque parts of this town in southwestern connecticut, overlooks rolling hills. seems out of a robert frost poem, but it's the kind of place where neighbors particularly on this one street seem very night knit. those are their words, and one of the neighbors that i spoke with said like you mentioned, they used to congregate every so often for parlor games, played dice. and then at the same time, we're hearing these other conflicting reports here, this idea that this is a woman that had several. very heavy guns in her possession. she had two sons, moved to the
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area in about 1998, divorced from her husband and raised her sons thereafter. but the picture that sort of emerges, these two sort of conflicting images of this one of this woman who is sort of a quiet mild mannered pleasant woman who is gardening during the day and working with landscaping companies in her high lie affluent home and another that was holding on to these fairly heavy duty weapons, the bushmaster is a weapon that's akin to some of the assault weapons that we've seen in places like afghanistan. and it just -- it's really sort of a confusing painted picture that's emerged here. one of the neighbors that i spoke to said very simply, something doesn't quite add up. deb? >> and what's interesting, david, and i wanted to get to that point because i read that earlier that the neighbors said something simply did not add up. did the neighbor ever hear her firing the guns? i know the houses are kind of
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far apart. did the neighbor ever say that nancy lanza had some sort of, you know, argument with her son, that she was complaining about him? because it appears that they were living together in that home, no? >> yeah, you know, i asked her that question specifically and the answer was categorically no. this is a woman that was effectively -- let's put it this way. this is not someone she knew well or any of the neighbors knew well. like any neighborhood, you know maybe one or two houses down or three or four on the other side. but when you look at the entire neighborhood, how many people actually know all their neighbors with their community. same time she did have interactions with this woman, most about the gardening and about landscaping and about dice. not the type of things that would raise questions or any kind of interactions with her son that were in any kind of outward way boisterous or something that you might expect wofth stem some sort of
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conflict. we're continuing to dig out here and hopefully we'll have some more answers for you soon. >> absolutely. obviously, when moms kind of get together or neighbors they may say i'm having trouble with my teenager. this isn't going right. that's not going right. but based on the interviews you've been doing and the reporting that hasn't come up yet. we want to clarify that authorities have not yet said that adam lanza had any sort of mental illness. there have been reports he may have had some type of an autism disorder but again, all that has yet to be confirmed. we've got more how to deal with your child's emotions. how do you talk to your kids. an expert gives you tips about what to say. plus, don lemon back with us live from newtown.
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those children who were at the school at the time of the shooting will certainly have a lot of questions, and parents have to find a way to answer them. and that is why i want to bringing in jeff gardere to talk
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about how one explains this tragedy to children. he's a clinical psychologist. before we talk about this explaining this to a child, we've been talking a lot about gun laws in this country and about somehow making sure that the -- they don't get in the hands of the wrong people. i think it's just as important to talk about mental health, a subject that's been coming up over and over and over again. so where do we start here then? because i guess is nebulous a right, right word or complex is probably the right word when it comes to dealing with mental health issues. >> yes, it is very complex. and this brings up a very excellent point and i'm so glad, don, that you're asking this question. you had a previous guest who said look, when it comes to background checks, we have to look at minnesota mull facic personality inventory which gives us a broad spectrum as to who the person is, some of the psychological projective tests
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and so on. he is right on with that because right now one of the only questions asked when you're getting a gun permit during the gun application is, have you ever been declared incompetent or have you ever been involuntary placed in a mental institution. and most people will just say no and leave it alone. then the person will call in a background check with the fbi or some other agency. but what we know is, three million people have been placed in hospitals for psychiatric reasons. but only 90,000 of those people are in that database. so there's a huge hole there. and so what we're looking at is yeah, okay, so let's look at people with severe mental illness but a lot of times the people that commit these crimes, you can't document that they were in a hospital. they were never in a psychiatric hospital. they were flying under the radar. and we know there have been other instances where people have not been psychotic who have
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taken matters into their own hands and been involved with mass murders and these have -- these people only have personality disorders and are not psychotic. so i think we're kind of missing the boat here. there are violent people who don't have severe mental health issues. just to look at people with mental health issues as being the ones who shouldn't have guns, i think it has to go much broader than that and we have to look at the whole personality, not people just with mental health issues. >> there you go. listen, if you're talking about the gun laws in this country and somehow trying to keep them out of the hands of people who are not suitable to own them or oh ses them, the two -- it's not mutually exclusive. one has to do with the other. you want to keep it out of the hands of people that aren't mentally stable. that's a conversation we should be having around the country and quite frankly our congress should be having, as well. let's talk about the children now, the youngest among us, sadly 20 of them died in this.
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how do you explain this kind of tragedy to a child, especially a child who may have witnessed this, who was in the school? >> well, it's important to know that too often, we think children are resilient and if they're not talking about something, then they're not experiencing it, but the kids in that school, the kids in that town and even the kids who are in other cities are processing this, are going through this, and they need for us to reach out to them so the first and most important thing you can do stog find out what it is that they know about this trauma, what it is that they are thinking about, what it is that they would like to know, and then begin your discussion there instead of going into a straight dialogue or preaching to them as to what has happened and the evils of guns and so on. they may not be there yet. so be where they are, and begin that conversation with them. and secondly, and most
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importantly, it's not one conversation, don. you and i have talked about this before. it really is a series of conversations and it's not that you sit here and i'll sit there and let's talk, but it's about doing other activities, cooking with your kids, exercising with your kids, playing with your kids. and then bringing up these series of conversations and making sure it's interactional where they're doing a lot of the talking, you're doing a lot of the listening, but being honest with them and letting them know that this is something very difficult for you to discuss with them, too, and it's okay to say, i don't know when it comes to certain things why certain things happen, but let's talk about it, let's try to figure it out together. that's the important thing, the communication. >> listen, jeff, if at this point what happened yesterday in this country all of us witnessing it, if we can't sit down and have a conversation right now, i don't know when we're going to be able to do it. if this doesn't move people to
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do that, i don't know what will. >> well, we have to strike while the iron is hot. i'm one of the people who said perhaps yesterday it was too soon to be talking about what society needs to do in order to address these issues. it's not too soon now. we want people to grieve. we want them to talk about what they're experiencing. god bless those families there in connecticut. but we have to begin the discussion now, strike while that iron is hot. >> yeah, listen. i understand what you're saying. i think it's disrespectful not to talk about it when 20 kids have died, six adults. i think it's disrespect in not to talk about the issue instead of saying let's not the right time. it is the right time. when is it going to be the right time? jeff, thank you very much. i want to get back to deb feyerick in atlanta. deb has other information, sol stories we're following today.
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>> okay, thanks, don. obviously a very difficult conversation to have with kids but we start with details on a developing story. doctors are monitoring secretary of state hillary clinton for a concussion. clinton apparently hit her head after she fainted. her office says clinton was dehydrated from a stomach virus and she's resting comfortably at home. she will work from home next week following her doctor's recommendations. she canceled a trip to the middle east and north africa last week because of the stomach virus. former south african president nelson mandela also recovering right now after having surgery to remove gallstones today. the procedure was successful. he remains hospitalized for a recurring lung infection. the 94-year-old anti-apartheid icon has not appeared in public since the 2010 world cup that was hosted by south africa. in egypt, president mohamed morsi cast his ballot today for a new draft constitution. voters there deciding whether the controversial document should go into effect.
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the days leading up to the vote have been marred by many protests and violence. don now is live in newtown, connecticut, with a lot more. >> deb, thank you. we'll get back to you. you know this tragedy has sparked a new stage in the debate over gun laws in this country. some of that debate taking place online. so josh, you've heard me here online, the people on social media i'm sure hearing me in the break. i get a chance to check it. guess what, people are eager to have this conversation even the people who say you know what, the gun laws are fine the way they are now and the folks hog are saying they're not fine the way they are. it's obviously we need to talk about and it would be very disrespectful not to talk about it at this point and social media is doing itting. >> people can say what they want whether this conversation should exist right now or not. cat's out of the bag. people are talking about this. and the debate isn't between people who say gun laws are perfect and don't need to be
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changed. it's more people who say we need to focus on gun laws while others say we need to focus on things like mental illness. this debate is now becoming a part of the story as the country and the world really feel this trauma. let moo take you first to a quote we have now, a little piece of sound from an i-reporter who says he's a big fan of gun rights. >> you know, people talk about the second amendment. they talk about the right to bear arms. i truly believe in that. i truly believe that america should arm the schools. our teachers our principals should have -- should have a way to defend our children. >> suggestions of arming people in schools, something a lot of people are putting out there. i want to bring you an example from the other side, one of our reporter who's wants a whole bunch of new gun laws. >> first one is owning live
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ammunition. i think that should be made illegal. people that do own, want to own a gun or some kind of a firearm for the protection of themselves or their family should own one. however, they should not have to have lethal ammunition. there are stun guns, rubber bullets, taser guns that can be used in a critical situation. >> let me show you a few things coming in on twitter. i know don is having conversations, as well. here's one xax of au tweet to me from brian. it mazes me how political this turned political about gun control. one more here. what we need are armed trained adults in the school system #make them safe. time for one more. this is a conversation going on on twitter. it's sad but people truly don't care if they wanted to end the violence, they had have done something. now i'm going to cross across the screen. i want you to all to see how much coverage we have and how powerful some of these photos
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are. this is a spread we have on it includes photos people including the president all over the country and all over the world mourning in different ways. pictures from a lot of different countries and states all over this country. don, this conversation is already happening, and it does need to be led by people who really know what they're talking about and know the specs of how gun laws currently operate of what needs to be done of what may have or may not have applied in the cases of other recent horrifying incidents. we're seeing an absolutely horrific time line. i'll tell you one more thing, with all the mass shootings we have this in country with all the school shootings we have seen, we take you through how many there have been, it's a nightmare. the fact is i have never seen a moment like this in this country in which people seem to be realizing it is so deep, is it is such a huge national problem that it's absolutely time that we act. i think we might see some action
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this time. >> it is -- it's listen, josh, i've never seen people as passionate about it on social media. let's talk more about this. don't go anywhere. someone says salute. i salute you for using this platform to discuss our obscene gun laws and demand a common sense approach. why should we have a debate about gun control or mental health treatment? there are equally important common sense. keep asking the question. why isn't this the right time to have a conversation? when would there be a better time? josh, i think social media has it right, right now. if we can't have a conversation at the right time isn't after 20 kids were shot up in the school and killed, then when is the right time? i think social media has it right. >> the new york mayor michael bloomberg, if you're watching us right now, he's applauding. this is a message he and some other people in prominent positions have been pushing for a long time. the argument has been well, in the wake of such horror, we
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shouldn't be having this conversation right away. focus on the victims. whale several politicians and people like you and i point out, the conversation doesn't happen a month or two months later. you just on with everything else in the country and then we have another one. if the conversation is going to happen, it's going to be at a time when we're feeling this passion. i'm a parent. i'm horrified as i always am every time. the thought there's any human being capable of this shows we've got to do something. i don't pretend to have the answers but we ask for the answers. >> if you want to be respectful of the victims then we can do that, but we also can be respectful of the victims by making sure there aren't other victims in the future. >> thank you very much. >> columbine high school, virginia tech, now sandy hook elementary. with every school shooting, every parent thinks it could have been my child. the what, the how and where this could save your child's life. having you ship my gifts couldn't be easier.
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want to give you the very latest now on the school shooting here in newtown, connecticut, that left 20 children and six adults dead. all vips of the shooting rampage have been identified. all of those people, the loved ones, they were someone loved ones and they have been identified. their names are expected to be released shortly. police have determined that the suspected shooter forced his way into sandy hook elementary school. police now say three guns were found inside the school near the body of the suspect. they say he killed himself. the guns are a glock, a six sauer, and a bushmaster rifle. police have told us they now know which weapon he used to kill himself but they have not released that information to the media. a safe town, that's the phrase residents used to describe newtown, connecticut, to describe this idyllic new england town. now, the entire world mourns for
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newtown and tries to make sense of this incredible tragedy. and the image of the town like so many lives are shattered. >> it was terrifying. i'm still terrified. i think i'm still in shock about it all. i still don't know everything that happened. i know there's some people missing that have been taken to the hospital. it's terrifying. you know, you're rushing over here and you can't get to where you need to go. >> when we first arrived there, there was not a lot of security to guard. and there were three children that came out, one of them was -- had a very bloody face. it was very violent scene and there were two other ones that they were, you know, they were in the arms of a say the trooper. they did not move. their face was very pale. it was very tragic. >> deb feyerick is back at the cnn headquarters in atlanta. no matter how many times i cover
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these stories when i see the family members of some of the victims i wonder how they're even able to talk and still standing at this point. >> yeah, it takes every ounce of strength you have not to just give up and give in. and a lot of people are going to wrestle with the pain for a very, very long time. we've seen it over and over again, don. never again, we say that after every shooting, but yet, here we are once again. mass school shootings not just a nightmare but a reality that are becoming all too familiar. what we're about to show you could save your child's life. brian todd talks with an security expert. >> a nightmare scenario for any school security official. michael has ideas how to avoid mass casualties if a gun mab is in your school. how do you respond if there are kids all around? >> that's where the training comes in. >> he is head of security for prince georges public schools in maryland. a former deputy police chief who
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once had to lock down a school. he took us through an elementary school that officials didn't want us to name. showed us what to do if the nightmare unfolds. >> exits are key. find the nearest one. >> absolutely, absolutely. and it's important to be familiar with the building. that's why again, we encourage just little things, just a building familiarization, just walking the outside of the building so you know if you leave this particular door, if it comes to a creek or parking lot or a busy intersection. >> adults and students he says have to have that exit awareness. but if you're stuck inside, michael blow says while bathrooms may be a tempting place to hide at first, not a good idea. as you can see, a very confined space and usually no way out. courtyards he says are equally tempting but also not the best places because they're often enclosed. >> if this is a classroom, there's a gunman, we've heard shots, we don't know where he is, what do we do? do we lock, turn lights off, close windows?
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>> certainly, there are a host of things we would do in an pljs that would include locking doors to make sure that we are able to fortify that entranceway as best as we can, again, if there are no safe alternatives for evacuating the building, and that way, if someone was to walk by the room that they won't have an easy site picture of anyone that is in the room. >> adults in the room he says should talk the kids through it as calmly as possible. >> what about large rooms like gyms? you go in, avoid it? >> again, there's not a lot of places to conceal yourselves but there's a way to get to the other side of the building. >> he didn't want to giveaway too many preemptive security measures but sometimes they use wanding devices to screen students. he says some of the best screening is awareness of who is troubled, who is being bull audio, the radar up for potential assailants. brian todd, prince georges
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county, maryland. >> after this all happened yesterday, that was one of the first things that i like so many other parents thought about. that is, you know, are your kids really ready? do they know where the back exits are? do they know how to shelter in place? do they know where to go to hide. i think of these children who went into the closets with their teachers while the teachers tried to keep them calm. imagine the gunfire and these children just covering their ears with their hands not even knowing what to do. don, we heard that story of that teacher who basically after the shooting stopped and heard a knock on the door saying it's the police open up, she said no, no, no, show me identification and that's when she open the door. something that simple skrop potentially saved their life had it been someone else, don. >> my gosh. it's such a horrific tragedy. thank you, deb feyerick. investigators will be back at sandy hook elementary school for at least another day or two trying to peas together this
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horrific puzzle. to give us a better understanding of what happened josh levs is here with a virtual look at the school. >> i want to show everyone this aerial view of the school. there are a few details that are very significant for this investigation. you all will understand it best when you're looking at the school. i just want to remind everyone this is an elementary school we're talking about. the idea that this is now a crime scene is so horrific. the first thing to note, the officials, the police are saying they are scouring the entire school every room, pre bit of it. in the parking lot, this is their words they say each and every car in the entire lot is being investigated. we don't know if there's something specific they're looking for. we do know they're looking at everything in this entire area. a law enforcement official has told cnn the gunmanen had some kind of altercation with officials a few days before of this. another thing has come in today that's very important. we've been following the timeline closely because in an
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incident like this eeb a fraction of a minute makes a big difference. police put out a statement saying the initial 911 call came at 9:30 a.m. i want people to understand why this is so important. they said it was about 9:30 a.m. as we understand it, that's the time that the school security system gets placed on and doors are shut. so was something already happening by 9:30? was the gunman still outside at 9:30? the officials are saying he forced his way in. if the system was on, how did he force his way in? who is does a person force his way in with guns when a school has a security system and then they've said that there were windows that were shattered but not to read into that because when the authorities were called to the scene, they had to burst their way in. so when we see shattered windows, that doesn't mean the gunman might have gone in that way. this raises a great number of questions. we believe the killings were in one area of the school. clearly authorities believe there's a possibility of finding
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evidence anywhere within it. we're staying on top of all those details. >> josh lebs, thank you very much. we're going to be here with you all day and pardon the ambulance or the siren going by. we're going to be here with you all day all evening long as the nation mourns. we're going to be live from newtown, connecticut, our soledad o'brien is talking with people here in the community where everybody seems to know somebody impacted by this tragedy. >> soledad's up next. stay with us. americans are always ready to work hard for a better future.
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newtown, connecticut, small new england town that is suddenly and very tragically well-known. the bodies of 20 children and six adults killed by an alleged shooter named adam lanza at sandy hook elementary school yesterday have now been removed from that school. the victims have been identified. now newtown is the story of a town that's just been shattered. neighbors and friends all trying today to make sense of something that absolutely defies making sense of. i spoke with one man whose
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friends lost their son who was 5 years old in the shooting on friday. >> they came two years ago from england and very nice family. they fit into this community just perfectly i would say. and basically very close i would say. that's all i can say, close friends, like family. >> how did you find out that their son had died? >> last night. we -- we felt something unusual because they didn't respond on the phone calls or messages. and last night, basically, they called us and just told us their son not with us anymore. and that's how it happened. >> also today, i spoke with a young mother who was waiting for the victims' names to be
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released asked her if she thought she might know some who were on that list who had been killed. shears what she said. >> unfortunately, probably yes. and it's just a matter of finding out. >> how will you help them? what can you possibly say that helps another parent who has lost a child? i don't know what that is. i don't know what those words are. >> i don't think there are words. i think it's coming to these memorials. i think it's being close from one family to another. and just being there. you know? just hugs. i don't think there are any words. >> and so today, any attempt at any kind of recovery begins. this is a very close knit community, newtown, a community of neighbor who's know each other even if the kids don't go to the same schools, they care about each other. it is going to take an incredible amount of caring to
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help the friends and families of the victims of friday's shooting begin to move forward again. a lot to talk about this morning to give you as much information as we now know on what happened on friday and more about the shooter in this case. lease some new information we're working on. a law enforcement official is telling cnn in fact, that the alleged shooter had some sort of altercation with some of the people at the school a few days before the killings, and joe johnson joins me with a little bit more about this. what happened in that altercation, joe? >> soledad, we've been dealing with information that's all over the place. investigators though have been told that adam lanza had some type of altercation at the school on the day before the pass ker. not clear right now what that may have been about. we've been reaching out to authorities to try to expand on that. gotten no more details. the reporting on this has been all over the place but this source is telling me on the ground that they don't think the story of that altercation is bad
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information. so looking to learn more how many people may have been involved and obviously, the source of it, soledad. >> yeah, we heard in the press conference a little bit earlier today, joe, that there was lots of evidence and at some point they would be able to sort of peel back as they described it, the pieces of the onion and be able to explain hopefully how and why all of this happened. so joe, we know there's a little more information about the guns that were involved in the shooting. what do you know? >> the gun investigation continues. a federal source telling me that the tracing operation has not been completed on the guns confiscated in this crime. that trace goes back to the manufacturer through the distributor and all the buyers. as of this morning, the connecticut school shooter identified as adam lanza had access, we're told, to a total of six guns. that's up from three we were hearing last night. the latest is that three of the
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firearms were found inside the school with the shooter along with a glock, six sauer, bushmaster, those three weapons were found inside the school and were legally purchased by his mother nancy, who was found deceased yesterday. the other three weapons, according to susan candiotti include a .45 caliber henry repeating rifle, a .22 caliber marlin rifle and a .30 caliber infield rifle not clear whether those guns were found in the car that lanza had been driving or elsewhere. so still trying to sort a lot of this out. there's also, of course, new reporting by cnn's susan candiotti that in fact, the shooter did try to purchase some type of a firearm earlier in the week at a dick's sporting goods store and looking to susan candiotti for some more reporting on that. back to you. >> that's a little bit of a
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change then because we had heard earlier in the day reports that that bushmaster was actually in the vehicle and never made its way into the school. sounds like three weapons now in the school, one being that semiautomatic rifle being reported now in the school. joe johns for us, thank you, for the update. the people here in newtown, connecticut, are very slowly beginning to learn some of the names of the victims. we know the numbers certainly. 20 children all between the ages of 5 and 10. the school went k to 4. 20 kiran died in the spree. there were six adults who died, among them the school's principal. her name was dawn hochsprung. she was 47 years old, the principal since 2010. in that time she had overhauled the school's security system. some of the parents were delling us about this yesterday. she leaves behind a husband and five children. those who remembered her said she created an environment in her school that made people feel
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accepted and important and they truly loved her. we're learning more about one of the teachers today. vickie soto was killed while trying to protect and hide the children in her class. our connecticut reporter sarah hagan has more on her story. >> i am told that victoria lee soto was a graduate from stratford high school that you see behind me. take a look at this photo. this was a recent staff school picture taken just last week at sandy hook. her family says she had her students huddled behind her trying to protect them when she was shot and killed. they say she is a hero and did everything she can. ner husband james wiltsie says one of the hardest parts yed was waiting to see if she was dead or alive. >> at that point, it was the hardest for the whole family, just the waiting gim receive word on what happened to vickie's glas class. >> i'm told bill family members there will be a vigil held in her memory right here at the
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high school at 7:00 p.m. tonight. we'll keep you updated on this developing story with are continuing coverage. >> if you want more information how you can help those affected in this terrible tragedy, go to you'll have lots of information and ways that you can help. all of this, of course, has left us with even more questions and answers right now about any possible motive about the suspected shooter. mary snow has a closer look at him. >> shortly after friday's horrific shootings, police and s.w.a.t. teams descended upon the lanza home. you can't see it. it's behind me and it's closed off by police. and investigators are now suggesting that they are piecing together information leading to possible answers about how and why this happened. lieutenant paul vance of the connecticut state police saying that in his words, good evidence is being recovered. but he did not go into detail. in terms of the weapons used, we
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do know that three weapons where is recovered at the scene of the shooting near the suspect's body. there were two handguns and a semiautomatic rifle. cnn has been reporting that those guns were purchased by his mother, nancy lanza. there's not much we do know about nancy lanza. we spoke to a neighbor earlier in the day. and she said that she will knew her, but there was nothing out of the ordinary that she could see. >> she was like a normal anybody else in this neighborhood. you know, decorate the house and the house was always, you know, pristine and i mean, she was just like any other housewife. >> as for adam lanza, former classmates describe him as being smart, student, someone who was quiet, kept to himself. a neighbor hob knew him in recent years described him as troubled. mary snow, cnn, newtown, connecticut. >> and as we try to learn more about the suspected shooter,
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we're also learning more about some of the weapons that adam lanza allegedly used to target kindergartenerners and first graders at the school. authorities found three of the six guns near lanza's body inside the school classroom. that's the latest we have been learning about that. all three guns were owned and registered by his mother. investigators recovered three other rifles. we don't know where those weapons were found. we want to get theft afternoon to mike bouchard. you supervised the atf's response to a tragic killing spree about ten years ago, the beltway sniper. so unfortunately, you have a lot of experience in these kinds of horrific tragedies. i want to talk specifically about the weapons. originally we had heard that the bushmaster 223, the semiautomatic rifle had been left in the car.
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and now we now understand that it actually was inside the school. does that answer some questions for you about the large number of shots that people reported hearing and the amount of damage and the number of people who were killed in this spree? >> well, soledad, i think it leaves more questions that need to be answered. obviously, he probably carried the pistols because they're more easily concealed. that made it easier for him to approach the school. if he was walking up to the school with a rival, they could have obviously locked down, called the police. he may have left that the rifle in the vehicle as a backup. >> so there are other rifles, three others, and it's really the first time that we've heard about these other three. one is called a henry repeating rifle. what is that? >> the other three rifles that were described earlier are mainly hunting type rifles. they're not typically called an assault type rifle. much like the bushmaster is.
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>> so we have been told and it's not a lot of information, but there is some indicationing that the suspected shooter might earlier in the week on tuesday have gone to purchase a gun at a local store. it's unclear what happened. if he -- if there was a waiting period as we know what happens here in connecticut or what exactly stopped him. he's 20 years old. no criminal record. would he have been able to just goen an purchase a gun in this state? >> at 20 years old, he could purchase a long gun. obviously you need to be 21 to purchase a handgun from a gun dealer. however, could you purchase one on the street. obviously between individuals. but in order to go into a gun store licensed dealer, you could -- you have to be 1 years old to buy a long gun, which most sporting goods stores only sell hunting type rifles. >> so we know that they have continued to seal off the school, and earlier in a press conference, we heard from the state police that it's an active
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crime scene and that they're going to go into every crevice and corner. what are they searching for at this point? >> obviously they're going to look to recover all the fired bullets. whether they -- if they miss, went into walls and ceiling cans, et cetera, they'll recover so they can get a good estimate as to how many shots were fired. if they find any different type of caliber, obviously, they'd like to know that. they have to verify that this was the only shooter which i think they've already done and that all the weapons that were used have been recovered. so they'll be doing this crime scene as well as going -- the shooter could have come into the school days before, could have secrete things much like they did in columbine where they could have put other devices. they need to make sure by the time they leave this school, everything that needs to be done in this crime scene has been completed and they can turn it
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back over to the school officials. >> and as we start the by saying more questions than answers and maybe there will never be all the answers that we need to know in this case. thank you for your expertise on the weaponry. i appreciate it. a little bit earlier, wolf blitzer spoke with our chief medical correspondent sanjay gupta. they were talking about the support that is available for those who have been ached by the tragedy. let's listen in. >> you just came back from a crisis center here. tell us what was going on. >> it was unclear how many people were using the center, and i can tell you at this elementary school just about a mile from here, this crisis city is set up by danbury hospital, the same hospital that took care of a couple of people wounded initially in the shooting yesterday. same hospital setting up this crisis center. there were probably about 100 cars in the parking lot. obviously the respect for privacy, we didn't film them. but families coming in, small
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children, some single moms and dads and entire families, as well. they were also staying for a long time. this wasn't one of those things where people were coming in and out constantly. the whole elementary school i guess sort of dedicated to this today for 12 hours. as you know, wolf, yale new hanch which has a nationally renowned-crisis center. >> yale university. >> in new haven, they've done crisis counseling all over the country. obviously, they're not too far from here but they also have a phone line set up and people have been calling in constantly from this area but from all over the place. this has been something that we're hearing people all over the country have been affected by and using some of these resources. >> so they're bringing a psychiatrist, psychologists but other medical professionals as well? >> that's right. and particularly child counselors. you know, the people who specializeny dealing with children. they have psychologists and psychiatrists and the psychiatrists can obviously being people medical doctors. they can prescribe medications.
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we don't know if prescriptions are being gimp. but a lot of counseling clearly going on. people are clearly using these resources. they don't want to talk obviously in the parking lot about it, but ghg quite privately. you can tell there's a huge demand. >> if you're a mom or a dad and you've seen what's going on, fortunately let's say your kids are okay, but you're still in a state of shock, what kind of medical treatment? there are probably some drugs that you can give but what do you do? >> you know, one of the things that i think and you and i both covered a lot of these. for parents especially really almost checking their own feelings first, making sure they have their own feelings in control. it's been hard for me for you i'm sure as well before talking to your kids to make sure you have some control of your feelings and then being as transparent as possible about this. one of the techniques that seems to make a difference and i keep hearing this from experts in the field is let the child in this case do the talking first.
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get an idea of how much they know and then slowly fill in details but not too graphic details obviously. again this whole simplistic notion of re-establishing a routine. it sounds almost too simple in a situation like this too small. but it can make a big difference. it's around the holidays. people mail vif holiday activities, soccer practice, things like that, getting back into that groove. they find if you can establish that sooner rather than later, you're much more likely to really mitigate some of these symptoms. if i was looking at some of the data, for example, virginia tech. even about three to four months afterward, about 15% of people still had significant ptsd. if people actually saul some of the violence, it went up to as high as 77%. you typically think of it as something you see in adults but you see it in children, as well. we're getting more and more evidence of that all the time.
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>> dr. sanjay gupta and wolf blitzer are talking what people can do to try to give some solace to their children in the wake of such a terrible tragedy. going to take a short break. when we come back, we'll continue to update you on the very latest on the alleged shooter in this case. what's happening here in town as people come together to try to show support for those who have lost everything here. and also, we'll update you on the investigation as we continue to get information from law enforcement sources. that's ahead. we're back in just a moment. >> it's horrific. it's just you feel the pain of these people. the children, the young children. i lost my child, and it leaves a scar. it doesn't go away. it's a horrible thing because you feel helpless. you feel like you want to do something, but what do you do? you pray. our family got together last time we prayed.
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and my wife and i, and the educators and the administrators that lost their lives and they have families also. you know? and children. and so it's impacted the town, it's it's impacted the state, the world, the u.s. it's a horrible thing. santho, ho, ho!anta! santa! want to see some magic? watch this! merry chr... (crash) ow! i landed on my keys. did you get that? oh yeah. that was amazing. here you go. that was a fun trick! see? santa's okay. walk it off santa. share videos instantly with s beam. on the galaxy siii and note ii. for a limited time get two flip covers for the price of one. exclusively at verizon.
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welcome back, everybody. it is not an exaggeration to say that the world is mourning today after the tragedy that has taken place at a connecticut elementary school to know that children as young as 5 years old had to witness a gunman shooting and killing their classmates and teachers and principals. heart breaking. kate bolduan spoke to the mother of a first grader who witnessed dwlaeds massacre right outside his classroom. tell me a little bit about what the mother told you. >> i spoke with the mother and the father. they're actually parents of two children at sandy hook elementary. their son is 6 years old and in first grade. their daughter 7 years old in second grade, if you can believe it. they told a harrowing story of how it all unfolded before their
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son's eyes. they said that they had heard hammers falling is what all the kids thought. when they learned it was gunshots, their teacher vicki soto moved them as far as away from the door as possible. that is when the gunman burst in and shot vicki soto before their eyes. somehow in a miraculous twist, their son aiden and several kids were able to, had the presence of mind to somehow run out, run directly past the gunman who was standing in the doorway, directly past the gunman into the hallway out of the school down the road. eventually to safety. now, i've been told a family member has told some of our local affiliates that vicki soto is dead. she was feared dead for quite a long time. law enforcement source has told us she is among the dead now and she died shielding her students as they said that she was a wonderful teacher and they loved her so much. i asked the parents, diane and
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robert if it's registered with their son really how this has always transpired. i think we have that sound bite. >> he's reassuring himself that she's going to be okay. he really, really really cared about his teacher. he was very close with her and she really loved that class, and he keeps saying i really hope she's okay. i hope it's not her. he knows that she's been hurt, but he doesn't note end result. he knows the kids that he saw getting shot. he doesn't know the outcome. so i think he's reassuring himself in his of-year-old mind. i know he's processing it, but i think he's reassuring himself and telling himself that it's going to be okay. >> they are obviously distraught. terrible news about vicki soto who has now been confirmed as
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killed, one of the names that they have confirmed. the family members confirming. what will they do with their children? i mean the trauma that they've experienced, i don't know how they get over that. >> they were very candid and said they don't know. this is not something you expect. this never happens in your town. this definitely happens in your children's school. and definitely never happens in your children's classroom. and they say this is not -- this is something that this town will never be the same after. i think that's understandable. they're trying to let their son and daughter kind of lead the way. they're just trying to spend a lot of time together. they all slept in the same bed last night in order to enjoy the time. it's an unbelievable blessing, an understatement that they are all together and the relief they felt when they were able to find their two children. she said was indescribable. at the very same time, they understand there are so many families that cannot share that kind of relief today. this is why they wanted to speak out because they want to try to
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help tell the stories of those that have been lost and also to try to help this community slowly somehow begin to heal after this horrific tragedy. >> if her son raft past the gunman, it was that classroom one of the two shot up. many of those killed were in that classroom her son's classmates. >> their son aiden and robert was the father was with the son when he was speaking to detectives. they said -- they were very proud of the amount of detail in this 6-year-old boy could remember how this unfolded. he said he saw the gunman. he saw him shoot his teacher and he also had mentioned that he had seen other kids getting shot. he had not gone into detail of how, where, when or you know, how it all unfolded in what way. it's unbelievable to me and i'm sure to you with children to think at that moment that these children have the presence of mind to run and flee rather than
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be frozen in fear and make it to safety. it's only because there were angels in the room that day. there's no other way to explain it. >> and so many others didn't make it out. the teachers have really emerged as the true heroes in the story. the number of teachers who literally have thrown themselves in front of children to try to protect them from gunfire is stunning. >> vicki soto is a young woman. she is some 27 years old. a young, young woman and to think in that moment of terror, that's what they do to protect these children, it's amazing. >> our hearts break for all the families today. kate, thank you for that report. appreciate it. as each hour goes by, there's more information that trickles out or we get clarification on some of the information that was contradictory including about the weapons used to kill all those people yesterday. police say the suspect had access to six guns. we're learning more about the principal of the school, the school psychologist, a teacher in the school, want to get to
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national correspondent susan candiotti. sorry susan for manning ling that. obviously you and i talking for many hours over the last 24 hours. you were one of the first reporters on the scene yesterday. i know the information comes out a little bit at a time. let's start with the guns. what information is new about the weapons used? >> well, big picturewise, remember at this morning's news conference, the state police said that a better picture was emerging from them about what led to this. part of that has to do with guns. so the new information that we're reporting now as i just came back from dick's sporting goods here in danbury, connecticut, nearby here, and i was able to learn from law enforcement sources that in the days before literally tuesday of this week, that the suspected shooter in this case, adam lanza, went to the store and tried to buy a gun. he wasn't successful.
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we do not know exactly what kind of a gun that he was trying to buy, but our sources say that for whatever reason, he just didn't want to wait around and wasn't interested and left. however, i've also learned that store employees are cooperating with investigators about what happened, and that they are currently searching their store surveillance cameras for video that would indicate that the suspected shooter was, in fact, in that store on tuesday to try to firm that up. also we've learned and you've pointed out that the suspected shooter in this case had access to at least six guns, may have had access to as many as six guns. he certainly had access 0 three of them, and authorities now tell us, our sources, that the three guns that we've been telling you about since yesterday, that is the glock, the sig sauer and the bushmaster that originally was thought to be in the mother's car outside
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were actually all three were found with him in the classroom. and also authorities say they do know which of those three guns he used to kill himself but they're not revealing that at this time. now, speaking to the issue of access, we also know that in that vehicle outside, it is still unclear whether yet another vehicle which might mean a seventh one might have been in that car. we just don't know the answer to that yet. now, we know that those three other weapons, soledad, that we've referred to are three rifles that he may have had access to. however they're described to us as sort of long guns or certainly older models that might possibly have been part of a gun collection and therefore, might not have had interest to the shooter to be used in this case. we have also learned from cnn's david ariosto, he spoke with a man who owns a landscaping business and said very recently that the shooter's mother showed
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him a new gun purchase she had made and said it was part of a gun collection and she also told him that she would often go target shooting. >> town of newtown pat lagora. >> good afternoon, everyone. i have comments on the baffle of the town government and the superintendent of schools who was unable to be with us today. newtown has suffered a horrendous tragedy. a harm that has broken our hearts. our wound is deep because we are a close knit community. we truly care for each other. we are coming together with love and support for those families who have suffered this terrible loss. we are a strong and caring place. we will put our arms around those families and around each other. we will find a way to heal so that all of our residents, young and old, will again find peace. i ask that you help us in this
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healing process. please treat our community with kindness. please know that we have suffered a terrible loss and we need your respect on this healing journey. i turn to you as parents, as siblings, as caring people to know that your words and your actions can help us on this healing journey or you can hinder us. i want to take a moment too to thank all the support that we've received from the governor's office, from the state police, from many clinicians and clergy, from the outreach across the nation, and across the world. i think we were all touched by the magnitude of this tragedy. so i thank you so much for listening to my message. and i hope you take my comments to heart. thank you. >> please spell your name slowly for us. >> my name is spelled
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l-l-o-d-r-a-pronounced load-ra. i am the first selectman of this community. >> is that your first and your last name. >> my first name is patricia. >> thank you very much. >> the second gentleman that is here today his team has been working very, very hard with the identification and the post mort term examination. the state of connecticut chief state medical examiner dr. h. wayne carver. >> thank you, paul. first of all, on behalf of my wife and my sons, and on behalf of my other family, our people at the office, chief medical examiner, we wish to extend our deepest sympathies to the families and everyone else who has been so hurt by this event. of our thoughts and our prayers are with you.
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the office of the chief medical examiner got here, actually the chief medical examiner got here a couple hours after the building was secured. we were here until approximately 12:30 last night. we thank the emergency services who built us a temporary facility in the parking lot. and we took identification, photographs and did preliminary identification on all the victims. and had everybody transported back to farmington by about 1:00 in the morning. our entire staff turned out. started the postmortem examinations this morning. we've completed the children by about 1:30. and i believe everybody except the assailant and his mother
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will be finished tonight. and i'll do those tomorrow morning. lieutenant vance and staff have a list of the names and the dates of birth. anything else? no, no. and that will be distributed. hope you've got enough copies. everybody, death was caused by -- every one that we've completed so far was caused by gunshot wounds. and obviously, the manner of death on all of these cases has been classified as homicide. >> how many medical examiners worked with you today, sir? >> i have four doctors and man. i think all ten of my
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technicians both the full-timers and part-timers were there. and one student from quinnipiac university, this was her first day. that was kind of interesting. and the majority of our investigative staff were working on this at some point. whether they were with us last night or on the job today. and our -- i think a lot of our chair cal or what they call processing techs who do the paperwork and so forth were there. they're up all on the second floor and i didn't get there today. >> sir, you obviously by the nature of your job, you deal with horrible things at times. is this one over the top? is this one a bit different than anything you've done before, sir? >> did everybody hear the question? >> no. >> it was given what i deal with all the time, is this one over
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the top. i've been at this for a third of a century. and it's my sensibilities may not be the average man. but this probably is the worst i have seen or the worst that i know of any of my colleagues having seen. and that all the more makes me proud and grateful to our staff who to a man have just behaved most professionally and strongly and i hope they and i hope the people of newtown don't have it crash on their head later about you,. >> reporter: doctor, on that examination, could you tell which caliber of the handgun
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compared to the rifle of these shooting victims were? >> it's a good thing it's not a prosecution because then i couldn't answer you that. all of the wounds i know of at this point were caused by the long weapon. >> so the rifle was the the primary weapon. >> yes. >> what caliber were the -- >> the question was what caliber were these bullets. i know, i probably know more about firearms than most pathologists but if i say it in court they yell at me and don't make me answer. so i'll let the police deal with that for you. >> doctor, can you tell about the nature of the wounds? were they at very close range? were the children shot from across the room? >> i only did seven of the autopsies. the victims i had ranged from 3 to 11 wounds apiece. i only saw two of them with close range shooting. but that's a sample.
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i really don't have of detailed information on the rest of the injuries. >> but you said it was the long rifle that was used? >> yes. >> i thought the long rifle was discovered in the car. that's not correct? >> that's not correct, sir. >> how many bullets casings did you find total? >> oh. i'm lucky i can tell you how many i found. i don't know. there were lots of them, okay? this type of weapon is not -- the bullets are designed in such a fashion that the energy -- this is very clinical. i shouldn't be saying this, but the energy is deposited in the tissue and so the bullet stays in. >> doctor, did the children die quickly? >> that's always a difficult question and obviously i don't ha
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have -- i don't have detailed information on all of them, but this is a very devastating set of injuries. >> did they suffer? >> i don't -- i don't -- the best of my ability to answer that question which is always less than perfect, if so, not for very long. >> were most of the injuries multiple? >> all the ones -- i believe so, yes. >> what shape are the bodies -- >> we did not bring the bodies and the families into contact. we took pictures of them. of their faisal features. you have -- it's easier on the families when you do that. there is a time and a place for up close and personal in the grieving process. but to accomplish this we felt
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it would be best to do it this way and you can sort of -- you can control the situation depending on your photographer. i have very good photographers. about you. >> do you know the difference in the time of death between the body that was recovered from the house and the bodies that were recovered from the school? >> no, i don't. >> how young. >> sorry, i don't. >> how young was the youngest victim, doctor, how old was the oldest victim. >> you all have to look at the spread sheet when we pass it out. >> that you dealt with. >> all the ones i dealt with -- everybody i dealt with, i believe they're all first graders. >> did the gunman kill himself with the rifle? >> no, i don't know yet. i'll examine him tomorrow morning. but i don't think so. >> what about the woman in the home? >> have i not seen her yet. >> the children all in one location, one classroom or --
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>> okay. paul and company will deal with that. paul and company. lieutenant vance is going to handle that one. >>. >> reporter: [ inaudible question ]. >> we discussed this briefly with the staff before i came here. there was of -- i believe everybody was hit more than once. >> was there any evidence of a struggle, any bruises or -- >> the nature of the shooting was there any sense that it was a lot of care taken to precision from the shooter or was it spread randomly? >> both. it's very difficult question to answer. >> given the wounds? >> yeah. it's really -- you would think after the thousands of people
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i've seen shot i could answer that question, but it's -- if i attempted to answer it in court, there would be an action and they would win. >> doctor, can you describe, what the kids looked like when they came to you, what were they wearing? >> they were wearing cute kids' stuff. they're first graders wearing cute kids stuff. you know? it's the kind of stuff you'd accepted your kids or your grandkids out the door on to first grade in. >> doctor, can we discuss the fatal injuries to the adults? >> similar to those of the children. >> doctor, the children that you autopsied, where on the bodies were those wounds? >> all over. all over. >> what about the mother? >> i have not examined her yet.
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that will be tomorrow morning. >> were they at decks or running away? >> i'll let the scene guys address that issue. okay? obviously, i was at the scene. obviously i'm very experienced in that, but there are people who are the number one professionals on that. i'll let them handle it. >> doctor, you said that the bodies that you examined, the seven had three to 11 shots. >> that's just the ones that i did. >> just the ones that you examined. so this man was shooting -- >> i think the, yeah, i think the guy who's did the crime scene will be able to tell you something about how many cart ridges were found. >> is this protocol on how you did the aunzs? like the mother and the. >> our goal -- our goal was to get the kids out and available to the funeral directors first.
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just for -- well, obvious reasons. >> how many boys, how many girls? >> i have no idea. >> doctor. >> i don't know. >> you said before when i asked you about, you said this is the worst you've seen. i know you're a professional again and i know you have a veneer that you put up. were you emotional at any point? did this get to you at any point where you had to fight back tears? >> not yet. okay? but yeah, there have been times in my career when i've for reasons i don't appreciate go in the locker room and sit down and cry, but -- and i think if you -- if you don't have to do that, you shouldn't be in this business, but for this one, not yet. notice i said yet. all right, folks. thank you very much. >> could you say and spell your name. >> yeah, sure. i hope you all put this in your
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calendar because in 31 years, and 26 as chief medical examiner, this is only the second press conference i've given. it's h. wayne w-a-y-n-e, carver, c-a-aren't v-e-r, and it's the second. that's why i don't use the h. because when my father asked my grandfather, he said fine, but as long as you never call him harold. >> can you just real quickly, did they set up a tent in the parking lot? >> it wasn't a tent. it was this magnificent thing. and it's sectional and it sticks together with velcro and then they stake it to the ground and electricity and lights appear from the department of emergency management. i think it came from the army but i'm not sure. i think it's these things that
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they use in to set up field hospitals very quickly, mobile hospitals. >> have all of the children's bodies been returned to the patients or mortuaries? >> i don't know the mortuaries have all been called. >> but they're waiting to be released, these bodies. >> the paperwork's been done, as of 1:30 the paperwork was done. the usual drill is the funeral homes call us and as soon as the paperwork's done, we call them back. that process was completed for the children at 1:30 today. >> you transported the bodies where? >> to our office in farmington. >> okay. how did you transport them? >> we have transport vehicles. >> so how many vehicles? >> we have three vehicles and a lot of guys that drive them. >> vans or. >> actually, one of the highlights of my administration is that we make them as nondescript and un-marked as possible. >> one last --
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>> just to foil you guys. no, they started out at 6:00. >> when you removed the bodies, can you tell us how the numbers were and list the victims in both of those classes? >> i don't have the differential between the two classrooms. >> were the majority of adults found in the front office or in the classrooms. >> i'm going to let the police handle that because they're the scene guys. >> you said you're going to examine the bodies of nancy lanza and her son tomorrow, is that correct? >> yes. >> will you be doing that personally? >> yeah, it just so happened it was my weekend. >> doctor, you said you can't confirm that the gunshot wounds of the assail" are self-inflicted? >> i just -- >> you don't know? >> i can't technically make that diagnosis until i examine him, okay? i don't want to belabor the obvious. that's what everybody believes at this point but in terms of my
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fishery responsibilities, i haven't executed them yet. okay? all right. thank you very much. >> thank you, doctor. as the doctor stated, the two additional postmortem examinations will be conducted tomorrow. we'll have additional information relative to the results of those examinations tomorrow. again, i would implore you as has been stated many times, we're asking for privacy for the families. as we've stated before, the colonel has in fact assigned a trooper and or officers to each family to provide an open line of communicationing to them from us. and they will be with the families as the all times in an effort to instill that privacy. we do have a list of the deceased. i'd ask you to share. we'll put it up on our website if you don't get one. trooper grant will be out behind us and she'll be handing out. please take one per unit, if you
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will. and again, if you don't get one, it will be on the website within the hour. i'm sorry. >> what's the address. >> any search engine to connect to the state police website. i'll take any brief questions. again, understanding, please, that this still is an active case. we still are actively pursuing leads and we are still anticipate to do so for the next 24 to 48 hours. sir? sir? >> we didn't discuss the location of any of the weaponry at all. there's been a lot of speculation out there relative to the location of the weapons. and we'd like to do that when gt the caliber, about the ownership and about -- so i'm going to hold that question until probably tomorrow morning, okay? yes, sir. >> two questions. what can you tell us, were all three of the weapons fired, and number two, what can you tell us about a previous altercation involving the gunman at the school? >> okay. first question i cannot answer. i'll have to get that information for you. i don't know. it's that simple. the second question is, there
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has been talk and speculation about that. but in conversations with the superintendent and the authorities here in town, there is no information about any confrontation. >> lieutenant, what was the mother doing with this sort of weaponry in her house when she had a son that had some mental issues? >> that's something certainly we need to look at and our investigators will peel back the onion and look at the layers in their investigation. >> that's pretty large fire power. >> again, we'll have to examine that sir. yes, sir. >> does that mean that no altercation happened or there is no information? >> there have been no reports filed of any altercation in the school involving the individual. >> can you tell us anything about this asperinger's and his condition and state? >> i can tell you we have not officially identified him at this time and it's our policy until positive identification and postmortem is complete, we can't discuss the facts and
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circumstances of the deceased. yes, sir. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> no, sir. speaking with the superintendent, there was no relation at all. one more question. one more question. >> can you tell us about the latino families that need help with communication? >> what's very important to note and i would be neglectful not to mention this. the support from people not only in the community but first of all especially in the community of newtown has been outstanding. the support outside of the community has been more than outstanding. the outpouring of assistance, the offer of help, as has been reported, not only as newtown police are involved, state police are involved, federal authorities, other state agencies, other local police departments, other paraprofessionals, professionals, they're all here and support the family. we're certainly attempting and we will and we had provided support for the first
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responders. the fire, police, ems and we're going to continue to do that and we'll do that as long as necessary. i'm going to thank you for this. i'm going to simply say to you, this is the last briefing for today. we will be here tomorrow morning. i'll give you any updates tomorrow morning. but there will be no more briefings or interview. if anything were to break, breaking news, i would direct you to our website. we will post it on our website. again, we don't anticipate anything as our investigators continue their work. >> anything more on a motive? >> no, there is nothing more today. nothing more at all. >> can you tell us the time the female was shot? >> i don't know, sir. i'm not going to read the names. i'll provide copies. i have some. kelly grant -- trooper grant is back there with other copies. >> that will be lieutenant vance
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from the connecticut state police, holding these press conferences over the last 24 hours-plus. he said a couple things about the case before he began. he really mentioned that he was once again going to play for the families of these children who are -- have been killed in this terrible tragedy they would be left alone in solitude. he's assigned each family, he reminded us, a trooper, to make sure that happens. he said a couple things about the case still being active. and he said there's still information that they're still trying to get about the caliber of the weaponry, the ownership of the guns. and so they have no information at this point they are releasing officially, at least in this kind of press conference format. he said they haven't even officially identified the alleged shooter. and they're waiting for the postmortem that we know will take place tomorrow. but he also pointed out -- word of the community has been outstanding and the support of the folks outside of the community, he says, has been even more than outstanding. before we heard from lieutenant vance, we heard from the medical
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examiner of the state of connecticut, wayne carver ii, and he started off by saying his prayers and thoughts were with the entire community. had some information that he wanted to talk about. number one, all the folks were killed by gunshots, all ruled a homicide. he believes that the children all were first graders who were killed by the gunman. he said they are working at this point from a temporary facility, taking photos and that, in fact, by 1:30 this afternoon, all of the autopsies had been completed, and the examinations had been completed on the children. and that the mortuaries had had all been called, meaning at that point they would be ready to deliver the bodies back to the families of the children so far. he said that there were examinations still to be done. the shooter and his mother, the alleged shooter and his mother. those examinations, those postmortems will be done tomorrow. they will -- he talked about the wounds. he said that the wounds were
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caused by one weapon. at least those they've looked at so far and that was the semiautomatic rifle. he said he himself did seven autopsies and two of them were close-range shootings and he said he used pictures from the family members to i.d. those bodies. he said that as long as he has been doing this, it was a very tough thing that while he was holding up well, he has a lot of experience, he said he has not collapsed emotionally yet, echlzing the word yet, because he said this is one of the toughest things he has seen in his career. he believes that everybody of the 26 killed, and then the two others, including the shooter and his mother, of those 26, he says he believes that each one was hit by more than one bullet. wounds described when he was asked by reporters, he said all over. and gave some details. but not very many about the scene inside of that shooting. so we're getting a few more
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details from the medical examiner who we have been waiting to hear from. and also from the lieutenant vance from the state police who said this would be it in terms of updates for the rest of the day. they have been very good at updating reporters during the day. but also reminding them they want the family members whose children are deceased to be left alone, left in solitude as they are grappling with this terrible, terrible circumstance. so that is their update from this evening press conference, the last one of the day. and, of course, they were then able to release the names of those who have been killed who they have already done the postmortems on. so that is where it stands right now. deb feyerick is updating for us other information, as well. and i want to throw it right back to deb. >> sole dad, what we're learning, a law enforcement source with knowledge of this investigation has said that no suicide note has yet been discovered on or near the
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alleged shooter, adam lanza. apparently he did live alone with his mother. that is consistent with earlier reports that after a separation followed by a divorce that he was with his mother, living in that home. the mother -- there's a big question as to why this school. why this particular school. well, it appears the mother, according to this source, was not a teacher at the school. she may have had a minor role, a substitute or an aide. they're still looking into what she did there. but she was definitely not an on-staff teacher, according to this source. from everything law enforcement has seen so far, the alleged shooter acted alone. authorities are further looking into what he may have suffered from. what his mental issues were or his mental state, his mental condition. the source would not provide any details, nor would police, as a matter of fact. they are refusing to speculate on any possible mental conditions that he may or may not have had. they are checking. investigators are checking to see who the shooter, adam lanza, the alleged shooter knew, either socially, professionally, who his teachers were, what doctors he may have been seeing.
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there's still a father in this picture, who lives in another town, a couple miles away. they're trying to learn as much as they can about this young man and why he did what he did. also, we're being told by an investigator that the mom -- again, not clear whether she was a substitute or may have been unemployed. but it doesn't seem, at least not right now, that financial issues played any sort of a role in what happened or why it happened. the source also said there is a question of identification initially. the brother, ryan lanza, had been identified as the potential shooter. but apparently we are told by authorities that the alleged shooter, adam lanza, did not have any identification on him belonging to his brother when he was found. and you commented on it, and the parents were not able to identify their children by going to see their children. the medical examiners actually tool photos so the parents could
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identify their children that way. and that just has to be so painful. so overwhelming. and right now, so many people are overwhelmed with grief and sadness and pain, missing their loved ones, trying to understand what happened. trying to understand what cannot be understood. welcome, everybody. we're coming to you live this afternoon as we continue to cover an absolute tragedy here at connecticut, the connecticut elementary school shooting. lots to update you on as in the last few minutes we have had an update from the connecticut state medical examiner, and also the state police here giving us some of the latest details about this case. you just heard a moment ago deb feyerick giving us the very latest information coming to us from -- details about the shooter. and, of course, at this point there are really no more words,
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only hope, i guess, in some ways that the families of those who have lost everything, their prize possession, their children. families here in newtown, connecticut will some day be able to find their way through this terrible grief and then the nation will come to grips with yet another terrible tragedy. so we begin today with what we know so far about this school shooting. all the victims have now been removed from the school. they have been identified, postmortems have been done. sources told investigators that the alleged shooter, adam lanza, was involved in an altercation at sandy hook elementary school with four adults thursday and three of those adults were killed on friday. but we just heard an update a moment ago coming to us from the law enforcement the source where he said that they had no information, in fact, about a confrontation. so that is some contradictory information about what happened there. we also know that lanza supposedly tried to buy a gun at a sporting goods store near newtown on tuesday. he was unsuccessful. no details at this point,
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though, on why exactly he was unsuccessful. he lived alone with his mother, nancy, who he killed before he went on that rampage at the school. his mother was not a teacher, we now know, at the school. but she may have had some kind of a role at the school as a substitute teacher or possibly an aide. lanza did not have his brother ryan's identification on him when, in fact, his body was found. that was other contradictory information that we were hearing yesterday. so all of this at this point leaves us with many more questions and answers about a possible motive of the suspected shooter. mary snow has a closer look at that for us. >> shortly after friday's horrific shootings, police and s.w.a.t. teams descended upon the lanza home. you can't see it. it's bind me. and it's closed off by police. and investigators are now suggesting that they are piecing together information leading to possible answers about how and why this happened. lieutenant paul vance of the
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connecticut state police saying that in his words, good evidence is being recovered but he did not go into detail. in terms of the weapons used, we do know that three weapons were recovered at the scene of the shooting near the suspect's body. there were two handguns and a semiautomatic rifle. cnn has been reporting that those guns were purchased by his mother, nancy lanza. and there's not much we do know about nancy lanza. we spoke to a neighbor earlier in the day, and she said she knew her, but there was nothing out of the ordinary that she could see. >> she was like a normal -- anybody else in this neighborhood. you know, decorate the house, and the house was always, you know, pristine. she was just like any other housewife. >> reporter: as for adam lanza, former classmates describe him as being a smart student, someone who was quiet, kept to himself, a neighbor who knew him in recent years described him as
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troubled. mary snow, cnn, newtown, connecticut. >> we want to bring in chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta. let's first talk about the children. post traumatic stress. as the day goes on, you see some of the parents walking around with their -- their children, coming to some of these memorials that have been set up. is that a good thing or better thing to not bring the children around? >> everyone we've been talking to -- we went to the crisis center, which has been set up here at another elementary school, reed elementary. and the people that you talk to over there say it is a good thing. and, in fact, if you go to that parking lot -- i didn't know what to expect there. obviously, it's set up at a different school. but it was full. and what i also noticed, people were going in, families, small children, and they were staying for a long time. so this wasn't a sort of quick in and out sort of thing. the whole elementary school set up as a counseling center. so psychiatrists, psychologists, children's counselors specifically in there. so they're encouraging this.
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and the way they sort of put it to me, you think about the community sort of as an individual itself. meaning that the idea that people all sort of realize they're in it together, at least does something to mitigate those feelings of isolation which can be so problematic. so good thing, is what i'm hearing. everything you're seeing around you right now, this is -- i think what they want. >> what will they do for the children? kate bolduan had a remarkable story of a little boy she. she talked to his parents who ran past the shooter, killing his teacher and killing some of his classmates. how does a child like that who at this moment she described as calm and matter of fact and helpful to detectives. but one has to imagine down the road, he's going to be completely traumatized. >> yes. and ptsd is something we're used to talking about with adults. but you know, i did a little bit of research, because there are some studies on looking at kids specifically. and what you find is after this sort of thing, especially if someone has seen the violence, this is a big sort of pivot
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point. being in the school, obviously, problematic. being in the community, obviously of concern. even in this country. but if you see something, the rates are much higher, as you might guess. 77% of people, even 3 to 4 months out, had evidence of ptsd. now, children tend to be more resilient, and by that, you know, getting back into some sort of normal pattern of behavior seems to make a big difference. but you know, we talk about this stuff all the time. there isn't a lot of precedent. we would like to say we have tons of studies to base this on. what we're reporting on is a fairly unprecedented situation in terms of its scope with this age children. >> there was a question thrown to lieutenant vance, the guy holding all these press conferences, and they were asking about the mental state of the alleged shooter, who is -- they still have not done a postmortem on him, and they're releasing very little information. is there a connection between these moose killings and people who are mentally ill? is it -- other people have said, i know his brother said that he
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had a kind of autism. he told authorities apparently that. is there any correlation between autism and any kind of violence? my nephew is autistic and i don't know of any studies that link that. >> i think there aren't any studies. and two points here. first of all, i wouldn't think of autism as a mental illness. it is a neural developmental disorder. and if you look at the studies, whatou find is while there is a possibility of more outbursts, sort of reactive violence, the idea of planned violence where someone actually plans out something methodically, that doesn't correlate. the best study, one everyone quotes, a study of 132 patients, not that big a study, but one of the best ones out there, only 3 people in that 132-people study had any evidence of specific violence. and even that again was mainly reactive. not this sort of planned violence. i don't think there is a link. >> as you know, if you go online, the discussion and debate around this terrible tragedy is categorized into a
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gun debate. into a debate about bringing awareness to mental health and a lack of help for many people and mental health issues. lots of cuts there. and where the two of those things intersect. and, again, not a lot is known about the shooter so it's hard to say. talk about the mental health aspect. we have done a lot of conversations about guns and gun control. many cuts we have seen in this country on mental health. and it's hard for people who are mentally ill sometimes to get help. >> absolutely. and i'm glad you bring it up. i've reported on this quite a bit, and i know you have, as well. but there is this whole notion of something they call parity. and what that means, do you treat mental illness the same as physical illness, diabetes or heart disease, they go to the doctor. with mental illness, oftentimes it's very hard to even get the diagnosis because of lack of resources. and even harder to get treatment, because of lack of resources. so you know, it isn't always
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just missing the warning signs. families may see the warning signs. community members may see warning signs. but the question is what do you do after that? are there resources in place? and i think these cuts that you talk about -- again, we don't know what happened here specifically. but with regard to -- >> or that mental illness is involved in any way. >> right. >> or even that autism is involved in any way, because we have not that much information about the shooter are. >> that's right. we don't know. but with regard to mental illness, more sort of globally, yeah, it's incredibly challenging to get that. and that parity issue is something that's come up with regard to the affordable care act, with regard to how we spend resources going forward. because it just -- it isn't on par with physical disease. a lot of times we can get these patients cared for quickly for things that you and i can quantify, heart disease, diabetes. if you think mental illness is on the same level, it isn't in this country. >> i guess it's the intersection, at least for me, between mental illness and
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access to weapons is really what ends up becoming the terrifying combination in a lot of these cases. we've covered columbine. we've covered virginia tech. we've covered a number of these horrific shootings. and there never seems to be -- people always say today is not the day to discuss it. and i'm going to disagree. i think that we have to discuss it. both mental illness and weapons that are available so readily in this country. >> yeah. you know, i think certainly as a doctor, i think you do seize the opportunity to talk about these things. and with regard to mental illness, i think it just gets short shrift every single time. so the fact that people are paying more attention to this issue right now, it may light a little bit of a torch. and i think you're right. it is that intersection. i don't know exactly where that intersection is going to lie, exactly how much we're going to focus on mental illness versus guns or vice versa, but i think you're absolutely right. >> you have three daughters. they're sort of in the same age range. what do you tell them? do you let them watch tv? do you tell them not to watch tv? do you explain why you're here reporting or do you not tell them things?
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>> i haven't -- they haven't been watching television. but they still know. and i think that's one thing that's probably changed since our kids were born. we think by turning off the television that could insulate, and it doesn't. my 7-year-old still knew because social media and her friends in school are talking about it. she called me. i was actually in los angeles. she called me on the phone and we talked. and i said to her, you know -- i was very transparent. i mean, i didn't expose graphic details and things like that. but i think i was just very honest. it was probably one of the most honest conversations i had with my 7-year-old. >> what did she want to know? >> she wanted to know if this could happen in her school, was i think her primary thing. and she said schools were supposed to be safe. that's what she asked me. >> how do you answer that? because schools aren't safe. exhibit a is this school is not safe. >> i said for the most part they are safe. but obviously this happened. i said this never happened to me when i went to school. it never happened to your mommy when she went to school. but it obviously happened here. and we're going to do our best to try and keep you safe. but, yeah. i was just very honest i think with her. i think not being honest
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probably is the wrong answer. as much as it's maybe your tendency to try and protect as a parent. but it just doesn't seem to be the right way to deal with it. >> my kids always want to know if someone died. did anybody die. that's always their question. >> and i told her -- yeah, she knew that. and i confirmed that for her. >> such a terrible story. sanjay, thank you. we appreciate your insight on this. a couple things we now know about this case. police are telling us the gunman forced his way into sandy hook elementary school. no one let him in voluntarily. the school installed a new security system. the principal who came to the school in 2010 created the new security system so doors would lock at 9:30 a.m. visitors were supposed to ring a bell and then they would have to get clearance from the front office to walk through those locked doors. they would have to be let in. we don't know whether the shooter burst into the school and started shooting before or after 9:30 a.m. we want to get to luke a retired
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police officer in new york, now runs a retired security agency. we keep having these discussions. how do you prevent this tragedy? and some people will say it's about guns and other people, as sanjay and i were talking about, will say it's about mental health. and others will say examine the school or put a guard or police officer at the school. what do you think the answer is? >> well, i said in earlier discussion, i don't believe in a single causality. i think there are a number of issues that have to be addressed. clearly, we have to address the gun issue in our country. i am a supporter of the second amendment. but i'm not a fool. we have a problem. we have a problem with mental health. if we're really going to revert to putting armed security at every school in our country, i think we have a rather huge undertaking. and i'm not convinced that's the method. i do think that for schools, though, they should have a type
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of safe room which could be used as a classroom. in other words, you change or upgrade the quality of the door, and the locks. therefore, it makes it very difficult to penetrate them or breach them. and as far as the entry into the school, you know, the schools are on the right track. they want to buzz you in. the problem, again, and as we saw in this instance, this individual was determined to enter the school. he got in. i don't think that we're going to come to any type of overnight solution to what transpired here today. i think we have to really just wrap our arms around the gravity of it. and in our hearts know that we want to prevent it. and come to a common ground instead of making this a political issue. which is what it's becoming right now. and also, an educational issue for the public. this thing about weapons in our country is disturbing. it's irrefutable. there are approximately 300 million of them that we keep repeating this number. we need to address who gets
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them. how they get them. how the people are vetted when they acquire them. training issues. education as to safeguarding. dealing with people in your household who, if they have some type of mental or emotional handicap, preventing them from getting access. and should you, in fact, even have them in your home if you have someone who has got a mental or emotional issue. i mean, there's a lot of topics to discuss here. the heart-wrenching thing is to think that we have 20 babies that are now deceased. and we're all wondering, is this something that we could have done to have prevented this. and i'm not sure there is an answer there. you know, maybe -- and this is just conjecture. if we didn't have guns, and someone was so determined, how do we know they wouldn't get in an automobile and drive into a school yard, which, in fact, it happened one time, a couple decades ago. you know, you almost don't know how to respond to this incident, because it's such a shock to your system. but i do know this. we need to do something.
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and we need to become sensible and abandon these extreme positions we have in the nra and the extreme left liberal. live with the fact that weapons are here to stay, these firearms, and how do we now responsibly regulate possession of these by individuals. let's start by knowing a little bit more about you, other than the fact that you have no criminal history. we should psychologically profile every individual who thinks they need a handgun, especially of the type of this glock or sig sauer. >> but lou? >> yes, ma'am. >> how realistic is that? and i understand you're giving solutions, but i have covered so many of these tragedies, and we all wring our hands, and are very upset and people try and there's a raging debate going on. and then it kind of goes away until the next one when we -- it all comes back again. and i don't know that any of that is going to happen, honestly. if history is any judge, it's not going to happen. >> i really think that the
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federal government needs to get involved in this whole gun acquisition issue. it seems to be a federal issue, because it's a constitutional issue. it's a constitutional right that we've decided upon. i think the government should take the purgative out of the hands of the state and mandate psychological screening for anyone that wants firearms. especially these specific types of high-capacity automatic pistols that were mainly produced for the purpose of military and law enforcement. and if you really think you need an assault rifle -- and tragically, even though i don't necessarily agree with it, i understand where people or how people get to that threshold to where they do think they need these weapons. just look at the world we live in. the topics that we're as much rated with on a daily basis through the media. threat of terrorism. school shootings. shootings in malls. shootings in movie theatres. this stimulates or triggers reactions from people. >> yep, yep, you're right. >> and listen to this one
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statistic. 44%, approximately, of after the shooting in aurora went out and bought firearms, because their perception was that this is a solution in keeping themselves safe. we need to address this. but i think the government needs to wrap their arms around this, and say, listen, we're going approach this intelligently. instead of approaching it politically. >> well, it will be interesting. the president has called for sort of a response but no one is exactly sure what exactly that does mean. lou polumbo now runs a security organization. thanks, lou, appreciate it. want to get back to deb feyerick at cnn headquarters. deb? >> we have some new information that's coming out of those who were killed in this tragedy. the youngest was 6 years old. the oldest was 56. that's according to information we leased by the state police. 18 of the victims are described as female. we know there were at least four educators. the principal, the psychologist, two teachers that have so far been identified.
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and of course, the mother of the alleged gunman. eight of the victims were male. that's what we're learning so far. and the bodies of the children and of some of the adults, those are expected to be released to the families today. the bodies of the mother of the alleged gunman and the gunman, those will be held until tomorrow. that's what we're learning so far. the youngest, 6 years old. oldest, 56. many of the victims first graders. >> deb feyerick updating us on the scene inside the school. we hear they have finished this afternoon with the postmortems on the children. and they are expecting -- at least according to the medical examiner, that the postmortems on the shooter and his mother, those should be done sometime tomorrow morning. we know that, in fact, investigators will be looking at sandy hook elementary school for at least another day or maybe even two days. they're trying to piece together really what is a horrific
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puzzle. what exactly happened and why did it happen, to give us a better understanding of how it went down on friday. let's get to cnn's josh levs. he's got a virtual look at this elementary school. josh? >> yeah, hi again. there is a lot of information about this horror today, bombarding you. it can be a lot. i want to tell you, there are a few very specific questions i can drill down for you that will not only help show what you investigators need to learn here, but will also potentially have repercussions for schools around the country in terms of security systems. let's zoom into this map so you're seeing it more closely. this say 3-d look at this school itself. it has 600 students total and it has about 50 members of the faculty. now, authorities have told us, have said that this entire thing is now a crime scene. they said they're scouring the entire building right here, and in the words of police, each and every car is being investigated, as well. we don't know exactly what they're lookg for. but i want to trace you through a few steps here.
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we now know that the day before this happened, this gunman went to that school, had an altercation with four adults. the next day, came back, killed three of them. that's according to a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation. so exactly what happened there, whether it could have presented any warning sign, very important. next thing for you to know, police have said today that they believe they got the first 911 call around 9:30 a.m. now, each minute, each fraction of a minute in a case like this is very important. and here's why. as we understand it, the security system at this school involving locking down of doors gets turned on at 9:30 a.m. so was this shooter in there before or after that security system was turned on? well, the authorities say he did have to break his way in. so how do you do that? if the security system is on, how does a person with multiple guns break his way into a school without anyone noticing or potentially setting off an alarm? key question right there. next thing for you to know. there are some shattered windows
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around this school, which might have guy you an answer to the previous question. but police said not so fast. when authorities were called to the school yesterday, they needed to burst their way in multiple units. and that could be quite possibly is the reason that windows have been burst open. so where exactly -- let's zoom in one more time. where exactly was the gunman in this parking lot or around the school, in advance, as people were coming in? how early did he get there? what time did he physically enter the building with respect to when that security system was turned on? and how did he do it? all of these are new central questions about the time line of what has happened, based on what the authorities are telling us today. >> now, we do believe that the shooting itself took place in one corner of the school, one general area of the school. so we don't know what other evidence they might find in all of the cars and throughout the parking lot, throughout the building. we do know they're scouring it for absolutely anything. so those are some of the key questions we're looking for answers to right now. hopefully in the next few days. >> yeah, absolutely.
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one thing i'm going to tell you, where there is conflicting information to that, josh, when we heard our final press conference, there was no information, we were told by the state police, about a confrontation. so we have now heard both versions of that. some saying there was an altercation or there was no confrontation. josh levs with an update on some of the questions they're hoping to be able to answer as this investigation goes along. i thank you for that. got to take a short break. we'll continue our coverage of this terrible disaster, this horrific mass shooting at a connecticut elementary school right after this break. we'll be back. >> they were asking what's going on. we said we don't know, our job is to stay quiet. it may be a drill, it may not. >> you didn't know at that point. >> we knew. because i called the office and she told me there was a shooter. d for less than the ups store. that's right. i've learned the only way to get a holiday deal is to camp out. you know we've been open all night. is this a trick to get my spot? [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. save on ground shipping at fedex office.
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welcome back, everybody. we've been updating you with the very latest as we continue to get updates from law enforcement officials. one thing they have told us in the last hour, there was no confrontation. there was some word that in fact the alleged shooter, adam lanza, had had a confrontation at the school in the days before the
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shooting, and that somehow that would be linked to this shooting. we were told in fact by a lieutenant vance with the state police he had no information about any confrontation that was in a press conference he wrapped up roughly 40 minutes ago or so. adam lanza allegedly targeted kindergartners and first graders, is what we now know. up to six guns involved. he also dressed up in a military-style vest and black fatigues, as alex described. authorities say they found three guns near lanza's body in a school classroom. all three guns were registered to his mother, his mother, who was also found dead in her home. investigators recovered three other rifles. it's unclear at this point exactly where those weapons were found. we want to get to mike booshard, former assistant director. mike, we know you supervised the atf's response a decade ago, a story i covered a lot, the washington, d.c. beltway sniper. so unfortunately, this is something you know a lot about.
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i want you to walk me through some of these weapons. in the press conference, the medical examiner said that everybody was shot with the same rifle. which would be i guess the bushmaster. so give us some more information about the bushmaster . 223 semiautomatic rifle. that certainly changes the facts in this case. obviously, the bushmaster is typically used in a longer-range shooting. it has more accuracy from a distance. it's odd that he would take the long gun into the school, because he could do just as much damage with the pistols. the one advantage with the rifle is typically you can load 30-round magazines typically during some of these tactical situations. they'll stack the two magazines, one upside down, finish shooting 30 rounds, push a button, flip the other one over as quickly as you can turn it, and now you have another 30 rounds to shoot. so the tactics -- what's odd with this whole thing that i
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find odd, we've heard about the mental health issue and the gun issue. it's really a triad. why are these young males -- where are they learning these tactics, where are they learning to dress? where are they learning the reloading tactics? how are they learning to bring these type of weapons and do these preplanned attacks? and many of them are learning from video games or movies and you know, i think that needs to be part of the discussion, because somebody who is mentally unstable isn't necessarily going to kill someone. somebody who owns a gun isn't necessarily going to kill someone. but when you put these three things together, it can be a recipe for disaster. >> you know, i think you're right. and i think our culture is very -- is very contradictory, right, on one hand we did he cry violence and yet our movies are so violent. we talk about mental health, but don't necessarily financially support it. we talk about guns and the aftermath of events like this, but we don't actually do anything about it. so i think you're

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